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Last Monday the school underwent a validation process. This process is conducted every three years and enables us to receive external feedback from a panel in relation to how we are operating as a school. The major focus is student learning under this process. Once we have received the report I will publish a summary and make available the full version for those who are interested. Thank you to the parents, students and staff who participated in the day.
The Ag Block continues to grow in numbers as the term continues! Our Year 9 class have been monitoring our ewe flock and are very pleased to report that we currently have 16 brand new lambs and counting...
On the 18th March I took the years 5 to 7 SRC representatives to Adelaide for The National Young Leaders Day which was held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Ben Smart, Olivia Dyett, April Germein and Lewis Schwartz were very fine ambassadors for Maitland Area School.
They were attentive and participated enthusiastically in the activities on the day.
The day consisted of talks,videos and interactive activities about what it means to lead yourself and others in today’s world. Keynote speakers included Natalie Von Bertouch (Australian Diamonds Captain) and Commissioner Burns (SA Police Commissioner).
As Premier Jay Weatherill said: "The National Young Leaders Days are an inspiring opportunity for those who have already demonstrated their capacity in the schools or communities to continue their own development. We all need opportunities to reach our personal potential and our community particularly needs the contribution of emerging leaders. "
R-2 students from our school and the Maitland Lutheran School joined together on Thursday March 21 to celebrate this year’s Harmony Day in the MAS Performing Arts Centre.
Harmony Day is managed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day of cultural respect, widely celebrated across schools, childcare centres, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies.
For 2013, we took the picture book ‘Wombat Stew’ as our theme. In the story a group of diverse Australian animals come together to outsmart a dingo intent on cooking their friend in a ‘Wombat Stew’. The importance of friendship, standing up to bullies and finding alternative strategies to solve problems are all emphasised in this colourful and amusing story.
We started the day with a retelling of the story with the pictures on the giant projection screen where I provided the voices and music for the ‘Wombat Stew’ song. Students were then split into groups corresponding to the animals in the story: Blue-Tongued Lizards, Dingos, Kookaburras, Emus, Koalas, Platypuses, Echidnas and, of course, Wombats.
The groups rotated through activities that encouraged working together, exploration of the story and creativity. We made ‘Wombat Stew’ with chocolate pudding and assorted sweets, played ‘Dingo Games’, made shadow puppets and plays and assembled jigsaw puzzles and solved ‘Who Am I? riddles.
A big thankyou to the year 5/6/7 combined class and the Year 8 class for your help in setting up activities, blowing up balloons and testing the quality of the lollies. Thankyou to the Lutheran School staff and students for your involvement and our apologies for the sudden burst of inclement weather just when you were returning to school! A final thank you to Year 1 teacher Sarah Atkins for all your help in preparing for the day, suggesting the theme and finding the delicious Wombat Stew recipe!
The 'Ghana: Beat My Drum' production visited school on Friday, March 15 with a performance by Ghana musician Jonas.
Jonas introduced a variety of African instruments to the students including the Talking Drum, Djembe, the Marimba (xylophone) and traditional gourd shakers.
Jonas's infectious laugh, wide smile and obvious love - and skill - for his music was a winning combination as students joined him on stage to perform songs, learned Ghana words for 'please' 'thank you' and 'welcome' and danced to drum rhythms and songs.
Jonas is obviously a skilled entertainer but demonstrated he's also a compassionate teacher and more than capable drummer. He's also very generous, with our 45 minute time slot stretching out to more than an hour.
A big thank you to school Performance Tours and to Jonas for bringing the beat of Ghana to our school.
Ghana Beat My Drum incorporates audience participation, singing, dancing and drumming to leave audiences feeling exhilarated and inspired as well as enlightened in the ways and culture of Africa and more particularly, Ghana.
Primary School Captains: Olivia Dyett & Ben Smart
Our 2013 Primary Splash Carnival was held in near-perfect weather conditions on Tuesday afternoon, February 19, in the school swimming pool. Principal Andrew Gravestocks officially opened the event and the Receptions from MAS and Point Pearce were soon bobbing for corks in the sparkling pool.
More games and competitions followed in quick succession with our House Captains (and a few ring-ins) ably assisting teachers and SSOs in organising, encouraging and supporting our younger students.
The score board swayed from one house to another in the early stages and even when Vincent and Spencer pulled ahead it was still anyone's competition up until the last race, the Year 7 surfboard event.
Spencer proved victorious in the end and Koby Polgreen and Maddie Greenslade made most sportsmanship-like speeches after receiving the trophy from Mrs Julie Adams.
Lots of thanks to our Primary House Captains for their help in setting up, to the teachers for organising the classes and to Chelsea Koch and the year 10s for putting up the shelters. A big thank you to Pat Hasting for some truly inspiring photos (on the next page), to Beth Hector for all her support with my first Splash Carnival, to Kellie Whittaker for her assistance and to Julie Adams for her annual presentation. The biggest thankyou goes to Ali Adams for finding the game equipment and for running the events. I'm glad someone knows how to play spoons and pegs in a pool!
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for all their time, effort and support no matter how big or small. Anything you can manage helps!
We had ten active members on the Parents & Friends in 2012 and I would like to congratulate everyone on working so well together. I would like to make a special mention of Kate Butler our Secretary. Her time and efforts in 2012 made my job much easier!
The results of all our hard work are as follows:
Meeting topics for 2012 included:
I have enjoyed being the President with a group of mums willing to help out. I hope you all have enjoyed keeping up to date with School Life and getting together doing our part in making a difference to our school and a nicer place for our children to be.
President, Parents and Friends
Tuesday February 12 was Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) and it was terrific to have the Lions' Club firing up the BBQ and cooking pancakes for the students and staff.
A big thank you to all the Lion's Club members who donned aprons and chef's hats as well as to our School Chaplain Kelly Whittaker for organising the delicious activity!
This year our Governing Council AGM will be held on Wednesday the 6th of March at 7:30pm in the Performing Arts Centre.
A letter from Governing Council will be sent home shortly outlining the importance of this body and encouraging parents / caregivers to nominate. Nomination forms will be included in the letter home.
The MAS School Leaders' Induction Ceremony commences on Thursday February 14 at 9.30am in the Performing Arts Centre. Prefects, SRC representatives, House Captains, the SAASTA team and Bus Monitors will be presented with badges and certificates acknowledging their leadership positions. Guest speaker is old scholar (and current teacher) Emma Atkins. The ceremony will conclude with morning tea.
The year has only just started and already we have some great news from the Ag Block! Our six senior Agriculture students from 2012 all successfully completed their course, achieving either a B or C grade after final moderation. This is a fantastic result for our students, four of whom completed the Stage 2 course whilst still in Year 11. Congratulations to Nikki Benyo, Keigan Elliott, Tim Hasting, Amy Nankivell, Annalise Robinson and Brooke Smith for a great year of study.
The senior Agriculture course, which incorporates work placement on a farm or in an agricultural business, is run on alternate years, so our Year 11 and 12 students in 2014 will be eligible to select this course as part of their SACE.
The other very exciting development in the Ag Block over the holidays is the progress of the facilities upgrade.
We now have a fantastic outdoor learning space which includes a verandah and paved area for practical lessons, the classroom has been freshly painted and a window has been incorporated between the two classrooms, thereby allowing for the introduction of a supervised IT learning area in the future.
Other projects include new fencing around the site of our future raised garden beds which will be available for use by all classes to grow and harvest produce.
Work in the Ag Block will continue this year as we further develop our facilities. We plan to build our garden beds in Term 1 (with the assistance of our Year 10 Ag students) and hope to get our new steer shed underway soon.
Stay tuned to future newsletters for updates about the Ag Block throughout the year!
Within what seemed just minutes of the first school bell of 2013 sounding we were in the Performing Arts Centre welcoming new teachers and students. The students certainly did us proud; their smart uniforms, (mostly!) bright smiles and eagerness to get started in the classroom were a credit to them. There was a similar enthusiasm amongst the students for their introductory activities and lessons; well done to both staff and students for such a positive and productive start!
A big welcome to our three newest teachers.
Betina Davies and Kimberley Black are sharing duties in one of our Year 5/6 classes. Both Kimberley and Betina have done relief teaching at MAS, it's a pleasure to have them here on a more permanent basis.
Emma Atkins is the third teacher in our 5/6 team. I remember teaching Emma music (not that long ago I'm sure!) and it's terrific to see her returning to the school in a rather different role.
We'd love to see all our Primary parents at the Meet the Teacher night on February 5. It's a great opportunity to find about classroom expectations, teaching programmes, special events, homework policies and make general enquiries to your child's teacher.
It certainly helps our new teachers match students with their parents!
Specific questions about your child's progress may be best answered though in a more private interview. Please ring the school to make an appointment for this.
Our school leaders' induction ceremony is on February 14 and SRC leaders, Primary School Leaders, School Prefects and Bus Monitors will all receive recognition of their official positions.
Please add a diary date (next to Valentine's Day!) and help us celebrate this important event.
A big welcome as well to our latest Reception students Beryl , Emily and Annabel. Thank you girls for your ideas on how to best take the photographs; it's a shame our pictures in the bean-bags didn't quite work out!
A reminder that hats are compulsory wear for outside play in Term 1 at MAS. School bucket hats can be purchased from the bookroom and students are reminded that caps are not to be worn as these do not provide sufficient protection.
The entire Education Department email system was changed during the holidays and all staff - and students - now have new emails.
If you'd like to contact the school by email, the new address is:
The numbers at the start may look a little random, but are just our school ID number.
Next Tuesday is our annual meet the teacher night. I would like to encourage all parents and caregivers to attend if at all possible.
On the night teachers will be providing information regarding the curriculum, expectations and activities that your student will be able to access throughout the year. Proposed camps and excursions will be discussed including the potential costings and expectations students will need to meet to be able to attend.
In addition to the scheduled homeclass information sessions, Chelsea Koch will be running a session at 7pm to outline our Physical Education programme across R-12. Topics included will be structures for Sportsday, Interschool Sport, Brain Gym and Play is the Way. A flyer with more detail regarding this session will be sent home shortly.
Welcome to Emma Atkins (year 5/6), Kimberly Black and Betina Davies (sharing the other year 5/6) to our school. I am really pleased that we were able to employ staff who are familiar with our school and students as Emma is an old scholar, Betina and Kimberly both live locally and have undertaken relief work with us. Another new face is Priscilla Miller as our Finance Manager, replacing Ros Allen / Charmaine Simmons. Priscilla comes with a wealth of experience and I am sure will be a real asset to the Admin team at MAS.
Just a reminder that school starts back again on Tuesday January 29.
Don't come in on Monday - it's a public holiday!
There'll be a back-to-school welcome in the Performing Arts Centre at 8:40 , where new staff will be introduced and students will meet their home class teachers for 2013.
Builders were busy at MAS in the holidays, laying new panels on the Recreation Centre roof.
The repairs address a number of concerns with rain and dust.
Wow, what a great time we had on Wednesday, December 5 at the Year 7 Graduation Dinner!
With all our Year 7s present and with over fifty family members and friends, we started the evening in good form with a delicious meal served by the Yorke Valley staff.
My speech was next, and I highlighted three proven methods of success, and how they're available to anyone - our students included - to take with them into their senior schooling and indeed into their adult lives.
Chelsea Koch and myself then presented each Year 7 with a certificate (and told the guests a little about their special attributes) before Charles and Bethany gave a short address and cut the cake.
While the guests were served we all went out to the courtyard for photographs (like the one above!) then returned to have our dessert.
Lots of thanks to the students and their families for attending and making the night so special, and to the Yorke Valley Hotel for hosting us.
The R-7 Classes decorated their classroom doors in festive style this week in our first ever Christmas Door-Decorating Competition. Some of the doors are featured on this page and you can see the flair and imagination that went into their creations.
Special mention goes to 2S (our Facebook winner) for their inclusion of Mr Gravestocks and Mrs Hector and to 6/7S for their 'naughty & nice lists.
Amazingly, all classes won a prize in the seven special categories and were lucky enough to receive a certificate signed by both Mr Tuck and Santa Claus.
The 3/4MN students were an excited group as we left Maitland bright and early on Thursday December 6, bound for the Adelaide Zoo.
Although most students had visited the zoo before, many had not seen the new enclosures or had a chance to view the Panda area.
Splitting into four groups, the students and their leaders - Miss Norman, Mrs Moloney, Mrs Bagshaw, Mrs Adams and myself - worked their way around the zoo area meeting back at the Education Centre for lunch and to compare notes on the best exhibits.
My group had quite a list to visit (and revisit) but all agreed the lion feeding, petting zoo and monkey exhibit were the highlights of the day. We did spot a small tiger following us,; maybe you can spot him in our photos!
The children's behaviour on the day was exemplary and I'd like to thank Miss Norman for inviting me along and thank Rod Nixon for the very pleasant bus trip.
Following hot on the heels of Presentation Night came our 'Christmas Countdown' assembly, with an Advent Calendar theme.
6/7T presented the calendar, with Santa arriving in his sleigh pulled by reindeer and pushed by elves (tricky wheels on those sleighs!). R/1/2AE presented two songs: 'Let's Go Carolling' (with some Year 7 helpers) and 'Christmas Day In the Morning' setting out the Christmas Story.
3/4MN sang a rock version of 'We're the Three Kings' and the kings - all ten of them - sang with gusto and conviction.
5M performed 'Jingle Bells' on lots of different instruments including trombones, boom-whackers and glockenspiels. 6/7S were dressed as elves in the Christmas Cracker joke factory and told some awfully bad jokes.
Lots of thanks to all the parents and grandparents who supported us, to the teachers and SSOs who helped with props and costumes and of course to Mr Tuck and Miss Secomb for all their time writing the songs, rehearsing the classes and running the assembly.
Tuesday December 11 saw the MAS school community gather in the Performing Arts Centre for the Maitland Area School 2012 Presentation Night.
There was an excellent showing of parents, families and students, with the PAC filled to capacity, and a bit beyond!
Special guests included Roger Nottage, (ARD Yorke & Mid North, Ray Agnew (Mayor District Council of YP), Marie Wheare (President Parents & Friends) and Tim Schwartz (Chairperson Governing Council).
The evening began with songs from the school Concert Band under Debbie Schwartz who played a medley of songs from the musical 'Wicked' and the Junior School Choir under Vanessa Secomb who presented two Christmas Songs.
The School Community Rowan Ramsey award was presented to Victoria Johns for her leadership and hard work in designing and overseeing the planting of the Primary gardens around the PAC.
Kerrie Thomson presented the Australian Defence Force awards. Principal Andrew Gravestocks and School Council Chairman Tim Schwartz addressed the audience and both outlined many achievements from 2012 including grounds projects, literacy programs, building projects and student successes.
Vanessa Secomb was farewelled and thanked for her contributions to the all aspects of the school's music program over the past years. Ex-principal Ian Burman was then farewelled from Maitland with an acknowledgement of his many and varied roles. Likewise Senior School teacher Shane Thatcher and SSOs Denise White, Charmaine Simmons and Ros Allen were thanked and farewelled after many years of service.
Primary School leaders Bethany Sly and Charles Wundersitz reported on the year's events, followed by the presentation of the Primary Awards by Primary Coordinator Tim Tuck.
A terrific video highlighting our busy but exciting year entertained the crowd, with many Junior School students singing along with the accompanying songs.
Secondary Coordinator Leigh Rothe presented the Secondary Awards with SAASTA Coordinator MelissaKate McPharlin presenting the Duke of Edinburgh Awards to SAASTA students. Sophie Elies returned to accept the Principal's Prize Dux of 2011.
The Festival Choir under Belinda Wundersitz entertained with two songs from their Festival program, with Brianna Schwartz providing a solo part to the song 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, which was dedicated to Vanessa Secomb.
Leigh called our Year 12 students to the stage to make the school-leavers presentations then Deputy Head Prefect Nikki Benyo gave the closing address. Thank you to Pat Hasting for organising the presentations and awards, and to our donors, special guests, presenters and staff for making the evening run so smoothly.
This week's Primary Assembly was organised by the Primary SRC, with help from teachers Sarah Atkins and Helen Moloney.
We also had some special guests from the Maitland Retirement Village joining us.
Each class presented a short segment highlighting some of the work they'd done in the previous term.
The School Concert Band, fresh back from touring YP, then played some Christmas songs. Mr Tuck presented the merit cards, including a special one for conductor Debbie Schwartz for all her hard work organising the band.
Primary Leaders Charles and Bethany finished with a Christmas greeting. When the students had left the visitors were served afternoon tea.
For this week's assembly 6/7T presented our stop-animation videos and electrical skill-testers.
We invited audience members to test their skill, but no one was able to trace the wire's length without the light bulb lighting up.
The animations were well received, especially the 6/7S boy's 'Slenderman'.
Mr Tuck also handed out a lot of Birthday Cards.
The Concert Band recently performed at the Curramulka Lights for the sixth time, continuing an annual tradition that started in 2007.
The show has certainly expanded in that time, and this year we were played in a colourful marquee, set alongside trading tables, stalls, amusements and even the big man himself, Santa.
Being held at the busy time of the year means we don't always have our full group, so it was wonderful that so many students and staff were able to join us, including ex-scholar Brittany Honner, who donned the MAS colours and lent her flute playing skills to the ensemble.
The band played a selection of Christmas tunes and concert items, with 'Holiday Cheer' and 'Pirates of the Carribean' being strong crowd favourites.
The band joined in the local festivities too, following the parade around the oval (probably in the hope of a lolly or two!) and competing in some of the many children's activities that had been organised.
A big thank you to the Cury Lights Committeee; we really appreciated our spacious tent (and lack of gales!) and the students enjoyed their chocolate treat and thank-you card after.
Thanks also go to the parents who transported students and (as always) support the band and to the staff who gave their time to carry equipment and perform.
Here's looking forward to Lighting Up in 2013!
I could not be prouder of our SAASTA team and we finished second over all - a score based on sports, grades, attendance and behaviour. Well done!Some of the many highlights:
When the CFS warn of a Catastrophic Day, then the DECD department will notify all schools and inform them that no buses are allowed to run on these days.
All intended travel on these days must also be cancelled. School that are a Category 1 or 2 must be closed.
Maitland Area School remains open as we are surrounded by ovals and roads, so are not in either of these categories.
Parents may bring their children to school if they wish, but Departmental buses can not run. All families will be notified via message, so please make sure we have your correct mobile phone number so that we may keep you informed.
Please also check the School Facebook page or website page as we will keep that updated.
The school is governed by Departmental regulations and we are obliged to follow their policies which were put into place in the aftermath of the tragic Port Lincoln fires.
Breakfast Club is always a whirlwind of activity, but when I visited last week I was amazed to see how much of that activity is child-driven, not adult.
Our Chaplain Kellie Whittaker is to be congratulated for the way she's encouraged students to take on leadership roles and develop the community spirit that has our children making the Milo, toasting the bread, spreading the Vegemite and honey (but not together!) and serving the the hungry people.
Even more impressive is seeing our Year 1 and 2 students (and even a couple of Receptions) in there and involved. Well done to everybody!
Last Saturday night, the staff of Maitland Area School, past and present, had the opportunity to formally farewell some long term members. The total number of years that the retiring staff had committed to our school was amazing. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Greg Bone (31 years), Jill Bagshaw (23 years), Charmaine Simmons (23 years) and Denise White (23 years) all the best for their retirement from our entire school community and to remind them that the door is always open.
Last Friday at our Student Free Day, students, parents and staff worked through the review of our previous improvement plan and begun work on future directions for our school. As a group we have prioritised the following two areas: Achievement and Community, for our next planning cycle. Secondly, we have agreed to begin the exploration of “Play is the Way” as a programme to develop and strengthen our values as a school community. Further work will continue with the SRC, Governing Council and staff to add more detail to the plans. The aim is to have them completed by the middle of term 1, 2013. A big thankyou to all involved, especially the students who gave up their student free day!
Last week we received the fantastic news that Browne Falconer, an architectural firm, have been appointed to undertake the feasibility study to move the Maitland Children’s Centre to Maitland Area School. The aim is that work will begin on this process before the end of the school year. This is an exciting development and I look forward to working on this project with the Children’s Centre’s Director Louise Hanrahan and our community.
On the 31st of October the SRC organised and hosted a ‘Halloween’ themed day at school. We had two haunted houses, one for R-3 in the vet room and the other for the 4-12’s in the sewing room. To enter we had to pay 50c. On the day we had Halloween canteen specials like creepy cupcakes, witches hats and spiders. All the food was a great success especially the cupcakes. Thanks to Mrs Polgreen and her helpers for running the canteen and to Donna for making the creepy cupcakes. We were very pleased with the number of students that participated in dressing up on the day, we were also pleased with the teachers that joined in as well.Over all we raised $480 and had a great day. We would like to say a big thank you to the Benyo family for organising all the props for both houses and setting them up and a thank you also to the SRC, teachers and canteen workers. The day was a great success and hopefully we can enjoy Halloween again next year!
Our Year 3, 4 and 5 students enjoyed a morning of friendly rivalry last Friday playing in the annual Diamond Cricket competition against students from Ardrossan Area School. The oval was in pristine condition and the parents and friends who gathered to cheer on our four teams were treated to some great sporting behaviour and skill. Each of the four teams played four 20 minute games of cricket. Diamond Cricket is fast moving and requires excellent team cooperation and maximises the participation of all competitors. It was with bated breath that the final tally was counted, as after round 3 the scores were tied. In the final round both schools won 2 games each and so the result was a Draw. This seemed fitting as both schools played like winners!